For the fourth day in a row, Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported no new COVID-19 deaths in Bexar County. New cases numbered 28, with 13 of them in the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, down from 65 new jail cases reported Saturday. The 15 new cases outside of the jail also were down markedly from Saturday’s total of 43. The total number of COVID-19 cases since the first was recorded in mid-March stood at 1,613.

Nirenberg cited a positivity rate – the number of tests returned as positive for coronavirus – of 6.6 percent, down from an earlier 10 percent, and fewer COVID-19 related calls to emergency services, as important evidence of a “downward trend.”

Thirty-one patients were reported recovered from COVID-19 since Saturday, for a total of 756 recoveries, with 809 people still fighting the virus. A total of 59 patients remain hospitalized.

Of the 207 reported cases in the county jail, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said 29 are being treated in the infirmary, and five are sick enough to be in the hospital. Of a total jail population of 3,056, Wolf said 1,213 are currently in isolation as widespread testing continues. New entries to the jail are kept isolated for 14 days before entering the jail’s general population.

After Wolff stressed the importance of testing asymptomatics given the high transmission rate of the virus, a question was raised by a member of the media about the 1,600 available tests per day at Freeman Coliseum versus the 200-300 being administered daily.

Assistant Director of Metro Health Jennifer Harriott said, “We have not decided to test asymptomatic throughout the community, but we’ll continue to discuss it. And that may be something that comes on board soon.”

Nirenberg said anyone experiencing even mild symptoms can call the City’s hotline at 210-207-5779 to try to arrange a test, emphasizing that “the traditional symptoms are not the only qualifying criteria anymore. There’s a much wider application of the testing now.”

Nirenberg stressed the importance of continuing to wear face masks in public in any situation where it is difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from anyone who isn’t a household member.

“As we start to open things up and we enjoy more activities, you might run into somebody, you’re going to breach that 6 feet of social distancing,” he said, recommending keeping a mask on hand at all times.

Both Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff mentioned the importance of mental health during what Nirenberg called “a very stressful time,” urging those in need of help to call the Texas Health and Human Services Mental Health Support phone line at 833-986-1919.

“There is help if you need it,” Nirenberg said, and even in this time of social distancing and isolation, “you are not alone.”

Nicholas Frank

Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with an indie rock...